How to Store Smoked Ham

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How to Store Smoked Ham
The pink colouring of a smoked ham comes from curing, but it still needs cooking. (Smoked raw ham image by lefebvre_jonathan from Fotolia.com)

Smoked hams are cured, but they might not be cooked before the smoking process. Curing improves the colouring of the ham by adding nitrates, but it does not cook the meat. The long exposure to a low heat during smoking will lessen the cooking time but not eliminate it entirely. For pork to be safe to eat, you must cook it to an internal temperature of 73.9 degrees C for uncooked or 60 degrees C for pre-cooked, according to the USDA. Because smoked ham has been cured before smoking, the storage is the same as cured hams. Storing uncooked smoked ham differs from storing cooked smoked ham.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Aluminium foil or food-grade cling film
  • Meat thermometer

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Tightly wrap an uncooked smoked ham. Store it in the refrigerator for five to seven days. Avoid freezing the ham if possible, but the ham may be frozen for three to four months.

  2. 2

    Remove the wrapping, and bake the smoked ham at 162 degrees C until a meat thermometer registers 73.9 degrees C for uncooked smoked hams or 60 degrees C for cooked smoked hams. Whole, bone-in hams will take 15 to 20 minutes per pound; half, bone-in hams require 18 to 25 minutes per pound; boneless arm picnic shoulder hams need to cook for 25 to 35 minutes per pound; bone-in or boneless butt needs 35 to 40 minutes per pound; and spiral-sliced, canned and vacuum-packed cooked hams need 10 to 18 minutes per pound.

  3. 3

    Allow the cooked ham to cool completely before storage.

  4. 4

    Wrap the leftover, cooked ham tightly in aluminium foil or cling film. Keep the ham in the refrigerator for three to five days or frozen for one to two months. Avoid freezing the ham if possible because its texture changes, according to the National Pork Board.

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